Here are some of the many bigoted remarks Trump never apologized for

Here are some of the many bigoted remarks Trump never apologized for
Donald J. Trump/Shutterstock
Donald J. Trump/Shutterstock

Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota found herself in hot water this week after tweeting some criticisms of the Israeli government and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) that both Democrats and Republicans denounced as anti-Semitic. One of the Democrats was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who asserted that (1) she considered Israel a major ally of the United States, (2) legitimate criticism of the Israeli government isn’t automatically equivalent to anti-Semitism, and (3) Omar’s rhetoric was totally unacceptable and anti-Semitic—and Pelosi demanded an immediate apology. Sure enough, Omar apologized right away, tweeting, “Anti-Semitism is real, and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes….  I unequivocally apologize.”


President Donald J. Trump, however, was not satisfied. Attacking her apology as “lame,” Trump called for Omar to resign from Congress or, at the very least, be kept off of committees. And Omar fired back on Twitter, asserting, “Hi @realDonaldTrump- You have trafficked in hate your whole life—against Jews, Muslims, Indigenous, immigrants, black people and more. I learned from people impacted by my words. When will you?”

Indeed. In light of Trump’s long history of racism, bigotry and xenophobia, he is the last person who should be lecturing Omar. Here are some of the bigoted statements that the United States’ Birther in Chief has never apologized for.

 1. Trump claimed African-Americans were too ‘lazy’ to be good accountants

According to the John R. O’Donnell/James Rutherford book Trumped!: The Inside Story of the Real Donald Trump—His Cunning Rise and Spectacular Fall, Trump promoted bigoted stereotypes of both Jews and African-Americans when, in the early 1990s, he described the qualities he liked in an accountant. O’Donnell served as president of the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, and the book quotes Trump as saying, “Black guys counting my money—I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day.” It gets worse: the book also quotes Trump as saying that “laziness is a trait in blacks, it really is. I believe that. It’s not anything they can control.”

Trump has denied making those remarks, but in a 1997 interview with Playboy, he acknowledged that “the stuff O’Donnell wrote about me is probably true.”

2. Trump was a leading birther during the Obama years

Far-right conspiracy theorist Jerome R. Corsi devoted an entire book to the racist birther theory: 2011’s Where’s the Birth Certificate? The Case That Barack Obama Is Not Eligible to Be President. According to Corsi, Obama was really born in Kenya and was never a citizen of the United States—which is absolute nonsense because Obama’s official birth certificate proves he was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 4, 1961. Hawaii received statehood in 1959, and Honolulu had been part of the U.S. for two years when Obama was born. But as ludicrous as the birther theory was, Trump wholeheartedly embraced it when Obama was president.

On August 6, 2012, Trump tweeted, “An ‘extremely credible source’ has called my office and told me that @BarackObama’s birth certificate is a fraud.” And seven years later, Trump has yet to apologize for promoting birtherism.

3. Trump attacked Indiana judge for his Mexican heritage

When Trump wanted to discredit U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel during his 2016 campaign, he implied that Curiel couldn’t be trusted because his loyalty was to Mexico rather than the United States. Trump complained that Curiel was “extremely hostile” to him because he was “very, very strong on the border”—and the judge “happens to be, we believe, Mexican.” But while Curiel is of Mexican descent, he was born and raised in Indiana—not Mexico—and is a U.S. citizen who grew up speaking English as his native language. Even former House Speaker Paul Ryan called Trump out, denouncing his attacks on Curiel as “the textbook definition of racism.”

4. Trump described Haiti and El Salvador as ‘s******e’ countries

In January 2018, Trump asserted that instead of accepting immigrants from “shithole” countries such as El Salvador, Haiti and various countries in Africa, it should be encouraging immigration from Norway. The comments were wrong-headed on so many levels. Trump was saying, in essence, that white immigrants were preferable to non-white immigrants. And he painted immigration to the U.S. as a racial issue rather than an economic one. These days, the U.S. attracts a lot of more immigration from El Salvador and Haiti than it does from Norway because Norway  has overall better economic conditions than the United States, a robust social safety net, greater upward mobility and a stronger middle class. An entry-level job in a fast food restaurant in Houston or Indianapolis can be a step up if one grew up in a poor area of San Salvador, but for most Norwegians, moving to the U.S. would be a step down in terms of everything from job opportunities to education to health care. The poor are more likely to stay poor in the U.S. than they are in Norway.

Here’s the reality: in 2019’s Norway, Trump is wildly unpopular—while the “democratic socialism” promoted by Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez isn’t even controversial. It’s considered good, common sense.

5. Trump mocked Asian accents and painted Asians as devious

Criticizing the Chinese government’s economic policies is hardly racist in and of itself; there is a lot to criticize. But when Trump spoke at a campaign event in Iowa on August 26, 2015, his rhetoric became anti-Asian—and he used a fake Asian accent to mock Asians. Trump said of Asians, “When these people walk into the room, they don’t say, ‘Oh hello, how’s the weather? It’s so beautiful outside. How are the Yankees doing? They’re doing wonderful, that’s great.’ They say, ‘We want deal.’” It wasn’t hard to see what Trump thought of Asians: he saw them as devious, scheming and ruthless in their pursuit of the almighty dollar.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.